“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines, sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.”
“For my part, I travel not to go anywhere, but to go. I travel for travel’s sake. The great affair is to move; to feel the needs and hitches of our life more nearly; to come down off this feather-bed of civilization and find the globe granite underfoot and strewn with cutting flints.”
Robert Louis Stevenson
When I was a child I dreamt about far away places with distant names like Bulawayo, Kathmandu, Machu Pichu Hong Kong, Sarawak and so on. They probably were a form of escapism and entertainment. I come from a very humble background, although my family traces its origin back to 1550, there never was money or fame.
My father worked his whole live as a metal worker in the factory and there was always the constant problem of having the financial ends meet. I am their only son and my parents dream was to let me go to college and university, so that I did not had to work as manual laborer. My father made me the fulfillment of his dream. luckily I could make his dream come true and become a doctor. But the constant pressure of studying and the closed social surrounding I lived in, were really an imprisonment I now realize.
So dreaming about traveling and reading books about far away places, time travel and science fiction literally saved my life. They touched my soul, expanded my reality and made me feel alive like nothing else did. I so wanted to do that, too, but I didn’t think I could. Throughout childhood, I was shy in expressing myself and mingling socially and it took me quite some time to throw away the chains of that past.
Now my life is an adventure and I keep moving forward and traveling to far away countries is a thing I love to do best I made my childhood dreams come true! I did travel to Bulawayo, Kathmandu Machu Pichu, Hong Kong, Sarawak and a lot more far away places!
Together with my wife Hélène we traveled through Europe, California USA, the middle East, Egypt, Israel, Jordan, Mauritius, and to Asia, India, Nepal, Sri Lanka, the Maldives, Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia and Sarawak the hidden treasure of Borneo.
In the mid nineties we fell in love with Africa. We traveled first to Zimbabwe where we made a canoe safari on the Zambia border. Canoeing on the Upper Zambezi River is a fantastic experience. The river above the Falls has a beauty of its own. It does not have the panoramas of the Lower Zambezi but it boasts a more varied fauna and flora with picturesque islands, narrow channels and a few white water rapids. The next trip was a big trip through Namibia. Namibia is a country of compelling beauty, abundant sunshine, and a feeling of unconfined space. We traveled from Windhoek, Fish River canyon, Namib Desert, along the Skeleton Coast to the Kunene river on the Angolese border, then on to the Caprivi Strip. We spent some great days in the Kaudom game reserve, a rugged, remote part of Namibia, along the Botswana border. We saw antelope, kudu, eland, lion, lots of elephant and the biggest reward of all a pack of wild dogs.
In may 2000 we traveled extensively trough Peru. We went from Lima to Paracas on the coast, Nasca and Arequipa. Then to Puno on Lake Titicaca, by train to Cuzco and Machu Pichu. We also traveled to the rainforest on the south eastern flank of the Andes, by boat we went upriver to Posada Amazonas to visit the clay licks an we saw a flock of red and blue macaws.
In September 2002 we made a big trip to China we flew to Shanghai, traveled around, on to Beijing, by train to Chengde, back to Beijing, 12 hours by train to Taiyuan, a flight to Xi’an (Terracotta army !!), next Guilin and on to Hong Kong.
In juni 2004 we made a trip to Vietnam, we travelled from ho Chi Min City to the Mekong delta, then up north, Dalat, Na Thrang, Danang, Hoi An and up to Haiphong and Hanoi.
In may 2006 we traveled Egypt en played golf around Caïro and in september 2006 we were on the atlantic coast in Portugal, celebrating my 57 birthday.
January 2007 we visited friends in Paris, celebrated my wife birthday in Germany playing golf and september 2007 we spent the whole month with my wifes sister Marion, who lives in San Diego, Ca, USA.
September 2008 we traveled through Andalusia, Spain celebrating my 59 birthday in El Bulli Hotel, Hacienda Benazuza in San Luca de Mayor near Seville. A meticulous and delicate renovation has transformed a beautiful tenth century farmhouse into a magnificent 5-Star Small Luxury hotel. The 2 star’s Michelin chef Ferran Adria (Restaurant El Bulli) manages the cuisine of the Hotel, it is a gastronome’s once-before-you-die Mecca.
In May 2009 we went for a cultural trip to Florence, Italy. Played golf in Austria in the summer and spent Christmas in the Loire valley in France.
In 2010 we traveled to Istanbul Turkey in the spring, spent a few days there and then went on to the sun of the Turkish coast around Alanya. In the fall we travelled to San Diego California, spend a few weeks there visiting my wife sister and then went on to friends in Hawaii, Kona the big island! In 2011 we travelled to Italy and France. In decmber 2012/January 2013 we made a big trip, first to California USA, then crossed the border at Tijuana Mexico, drove on to Ensenada and after a few days we flew from Tijuana to La Paz and travelled along the coast of the Baja Sur Peninsula of Mexico.
In October 2013 we went to South Africa for a month, traveling around and enjoyng the wine and the food. We visited of course Cape Town, drove up north, through the West Cape and then South East to Addo, Port Elizabeth and back along the coast. the highlight was the White Shark Cage Dive at Gansbaai.
The year 2014 was Europe time, we went to Cypress Greece, France and Istanbul Turkey.
In 2015 we made a culinary food & wine trip to the Ardennes in Belgium, travelled to France in the summer and to the USA, California in September/October. Spent a week in San Diego and then made a South West round trip, Palm Desert, Scottsdale, Moab, Torrey, Zion, Bryce, Las Vegas, Death Valley, Big Bear lake and then back to San Diego an Amsterdam. Christmas 2015 in Belgium and France.
In apri/may 2016 we flew to Seattle USA, spent a few days there, visited the Boeing factory and then flew on to Hawaiï for 3 weeks of island hopping, Maui, Kauai, Kona and then back to Seattle, Amsterdam.
“The whole object of travel is not to set foot on foreign land; it is at last to set foot on one’s own country as a foreign land. ”